A memoir of a year spent in the Old City in the heart of today’s Jerusalem.
Tuttle-Singer, the new media editor at the Times of Israel, was enraptured with life in Jerusalem ever since her first youthful visit, and she remains in love with the Holy Land as a grown-up Israeli now living again in the ancient city. During the year she chronicles, the author lived part of each week on a communal moshav with her two young children. The rest of the week, she lived in the various quarters of the Old City, where the disparate Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures are encapsulated in one small spot on a map. “On the days I’m not with my kids,” she writes, “I’m in the Old City, because it’s one thing to understand this place through the thoroughfares, and it’s quite another to go behind the walls and see what’s hidden, what doesn’t meet the eye.” Tuttle-Singer enjoyed views from the city’s rooftops, watched Arab elders play backgammon, and danced with bar mitzvah celebrants. She delighted in such things as the “amazing” chicken-and-rice dish called maklouba and the wide variety of odors wafting through the city. She was friendly with merchants and became a confidante of many candid residents of the walled district. It wasn’t all charm and understanding, though. There were the nervous young soldiers carrying rifles and demonstrators throwing rocks. When she was 18, the author was stoned by Palestinian kids. During her youth in Los Angeles, she lost her mother, who now haunts her daughter’s impassioned memoir, which tends toward the operatic. Certain descriptive passages of the sounds and sights may be a bit rich for some readers, but Tuttle-Singer’s approachable personality will prevail for a good many more.
A quirky, novelistic tour as much about the author as Jerusalem.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)